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tv   [untitled]    July 5, 2014 10:00pm-10:31pm PDT

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welcome back. we went into recess and are now reconvening. supervisor kim i believe will not be rejoining us so we are now on item number 7, so madam clerk, will you please call that item? >> yes, i item number 7 [inaudible]. >> thank you, we are joined by supervisor mar, who is the lead author. >> i believe we're having representatives from the budget and legislative analyst's office to talk about their report and also for the interim taxi and accessible services director from the mta who is here. colleagues, throughout the year
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i've been working with various stakeholders to find a balance between our transportation needs and the safety of drivers, passengers and pedestrians. i think the tragic new year's eve incident where 6-year-old sofia, her mom and brother were hit by an uber driver. 6-year-old sophie was killed and her mom and brother were injured. i think sofia's life matters and this meeting is partially in response to that. the issue also raise add number of questions about lift companies like uber. i think what we found over the tremendous explosion of growth in the industry where there's an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 new drivers on the road, we've
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been operating with lack of regulation and very little controls for public safety and concerns and precautions. i think what we' seen a rapid growth and now the industry is huge, with uber valued at $7 billion so there's a lot out stake in the industry. i use ubers and other vehicles so i kind of understand some of the comparisons, but i think what many people have reported to us is price increases or some call it price gouging, discrimination with people with disabilities or sometimes not allowing seeing eye dogs into vehicles and the problems of safety impacts on the environment and other issues too. i think the taxi industry has many challenges, but that's not
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the issue today. we'll have a follow-up hearing in a few months from the taxi industry, but in the richmond district we have different issues that we share with district 10 and 11 with very poor taxi responsiveness. so i've requested a controllers report later this year on taxis and accessibility of services as well. but the fact that the taxi industry has shortcomings doesn't mean we should ignore the safety concerns of the growth of the tmcs and the california ewe fillties commission on july 10 will be finalizing new rules that will make them stronger in protecting public safety and driver training and other issues too, but i believe san francisco needs to step up to ask and urge as much as we can for the state's pec to move
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forward with additional safety regulations. the resolution before us that has a number of mendments, the resolution before us urges the california public utilities commission to establish more stringent safety regulations. number two, create more comprehensive insurance requirements on the new tncs. and three, create restrictions on the number of consecutive hours that a tnc driver may work. and four, requirements for fully acceptable service for people with disabilities. it urges the sfmta to report on the steps necessary to establish a local tmc local regulations or locally enforce
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the california puc's regular laces. it's about ensuring all our transportation services are safe for everyone and i don't think we need to trade sifty to get good service. i'd like to ask if fred -- here's fred and dan from the budget legislative analyst office could give their report. >> before we get this stuff, we'll have opening comments as well. thank you supervisor mar for raising some of the issues in your resolution and i agree with some aspects of it and disagree with others. i think it's important to step back and look at where we are as a city in terms of our transportation system. we are a transit first city and voters made that pronounced back in the early 1970s and now more than ever we need to put our money where our mouth is when it comes to a transit first city. what that means in my view, and
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in the view of many, means is that we give people so many terrific options other than driving their own personal automobile, that they -- some people will choose to give up their automobile, some people who have a car will choose to drive it less. we're a growing city and have grown by 85,000 people in the last eleven year. s. we're going to grow another 150 ,000 people between now and 2040. for many of us who spends time throughout the city, we see what it means when we have a growing city where our transportation system hasn't kept up. muni is overcrowded, bart is overcrowded. cal train is overcrowded, our streets are clogged and overkrouged. crowded. we don't have enough parking. we have traffic like crazy. we have all this growth, but
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our transportation options haven't kept up so we have so many people driving their own cars because they don't think they have other ways of getting around that we have this congestion and it's only to get worse if we don't take decisive steps to make sure we have giving people options. we of course -- one of those things we have to do is invest aggressively in public transportation which we have not done as a city and we are trying to change that now and into the future, but public transportation will never be enough. one thing is car sharing and mta's doing very creative things around this. our taxicab system is another key aspect of that. unfortunately over the years it's become very clear that our taxi system is not adequate to meet the demands of san francisco and i think
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supervisor mar acknowledged if you're not living in the geographic core of the city is incredibly difficult. in fact, sometimes being in the core of the city it is very hard. for many years, a group of cab drivers have fought every effort to increase the number of cabs. our cab companies have fought every effort to have centralized dispatch. and have enough cab service and have good centralized dispatch so that the people of this city can actually utilize a cab system and that has been over and over again so not surprisingly competition came along and ride sharing, tmc's ride sharing, uber, live and so forth, have come in and changed everything. we see our cab system now finally starting to adjust to
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modern reality. we see good movement in our cab system. i believe our cab system will survive and thrive. but people now can actually get a ride when they need a ride without having to just rely on their own car. so i am fully supportive of making sure through the state puc that these tmcs are well regulated, that they have good insurance and that is an issue that has to be meaningfully addressed, that there are good safety and background standards and so forth. i don't disagree with the notion that we need to improve oversight and regulation by the cpuc, but i am offering amendments today to make sure we paint a complete picture of what we need at the city. so the amendments which colleagues have distributed to you and i provided to supervisor mar before the hearing, do a few things. it keeps in the language and concepts about making sure
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we're improving these regulations. it removes reference to the sfmta because they don't have jurisdiction to regulate the tncs. and it also inserts language affirming that tncs are a key part of our transportation system and our transit for system. if we're going to be saying that we need better regulation, let's do that, but let's acknowledge the important role that these tncs currently play in the light of our city. so those are the amendments that i have offered and after public comment i'll be asking the committee to adopt them. supervisor kim. >> thank you. just wanted to appreciate erik mar's office for bringing this to a second hearing. just a couple of things. i think, you know, largely consistent with some of the thoughts that supervisor wiener
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has brought up, this is an issue that was created by a lack of taxicabs on the streets of san francisco and it was only a matter of time for companies to want to figure out a way to fill in the gap. so i -- you know, ten years ago trying to get a cab on a weekend night if you had been drinking or otherwise was typically an hour or two hour wait. and that's incredibly ridiculous for a city that says we are a transit for city. i recognize that tncs came out of the fact that the city as a whole on a public policy level were not able to address the demand in gap and really appreciate that tncs provide that additional service. that being said, if we are going to have tncs here in the city of san francisco, i do think it's incredibly important that we hold them to the same standards that we hold our
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current cab drivers. and sofia's case really highlighted the complexity of the insurance when both the driver's insurance refused to pay for any of the medical needs that were associated with her death because the driver was using the car for commercial purposes and of
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course, the position that the tncs hope, which was that the driver didn't have a passenger in their car, their insurance didn't cover that fatality. we have to be able to address that issue. i hope an incident like this doesn't happen again, but doesn't mean it won't. we want to tell our residents that they can safely walk and bike throughout the city or can drive, and there will be something that will cover them in an unfortunate collision. so i am supportive of that piece of the resolution. you know, i am very -- i am concerned about the number of consecutive hours. i'm not sure as a public policymaker i have enough information for what that would look like, but unlimited hours of driving is not safe. we at a local level are